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Intriguing Iceland

Into the cold

sunny -4 °C

I am sitting at the Keflavik airport reflecting on the end of this adventure. I am happy to be returning home and on to the next adventure. Micah has gone back into Reykjavik to stay overnight with a friend fro Kelowna who just moved here for a job. He flies home tomorrow evening. We have had a wonderful time in Iceland. With our rental jeep (manual, which Micah handled superbly) we scoped out the Southeast part of Iceland. Our first stop was Thingvellir park where I braved the Silfra fissure, snorkeling in a dry suit in the 2 degree water between North America and Europe. Kellie and I had reserved wetsuits for this thinking we would want the opportunity to swim down to see things. When I arrived at the parking lot in the dark (sunrise would be later morning closer to 11:00 a.m.) at minus 10, I had already decided on a dry suit. And the young lady from Adventure Vikings immediately suggested that only cold hardy seasoned divers should go with wetsuits so it was a no-brainer. Changing in the open parking lot was just the beginning. With approximately 30 minutes to wait half garbed, I was grateful for Micah's hat and gloves. The wait was just the time it took for the other 4 people in the group to suit up. We were all questioning our decision as different body parts started to go numb. About 3 minutes before we actually left to walk to the water's entrance, I almost gave up. I was literally in pain from the cold. But the thought of water 12 degrees warmer spurred me on. Into the water we went. I would like to say that the gopro footage I have is mine. However, my gopro would turn on, then flash blue and shut down. Another couple had the same problem. But the couple who rented their gopro got the footage and shared it. If I can get it on here once home, I will. Along with warm water snorkeling footage. I remember floating and swimming for the 30 minutes in the clearest water, passing over rocks with tendrils of white wispy seaweed. I am glad I did this but would recommend doing it only in the summer.

Micah had a warm blanket for me when I got changed. He came prepared to share his warm clothes which was so thoughtful. We continued on to Hvollsvollur about 90 km south. Our first stop in a small town with some interesting sights. After checking into our homestay, we ventured back out to the LAVA museum, an interactive attraction that simulates earthquakes, etc. while you learn about the formation of Iceland. It was well worth the entrance fee. The next morning after our picnic breakfast (buy groceries if you go) we left for the three waterfalls at Selandjafoss. These were very beautiful falls with a place to climb up so Micah was able to spend some time communing with nature here. We traveled on to the southeast with hours to drive to our next stop. We found ourselves driving in the dark most of the way as sunset is around 3:45 p.m. We arrived at the horsefarm and visited with the other guests who were all doing ice cave tours the following day. This area is home to the largest glacier on Iceland called Vatnajokull. After waking up to rain, we drove back toward Reykjavik, stopping at a lagoon with chunks of glacier floating in it. Directly across the highway is the Atlantic Ocean so Micah braved the wind and rain to explore a bit. I opted to stay warm in the vehicle. A little further along we came to the next guesthouse and had a nice lunch in the town before checking in. We met a lovely group of Italian young people who thought Kellie's and my travel story was very inspirational to them! On the way back from there we went to a mountainous area overlooking the sea. Micah left to hike and I was not dressed adequately for the cold so I stayed back. We continued on to Vik, a small oceanside town and after arriving back in Reykjavik, settled in for the night. On the 14th we went out early in the morning to one of the Viking museums to have breakfast and explore. It was a very interesting museum detailing the Viking settlement of Iceland and had a full viking ship hanging from the ceiling. This ship had been built in the 1990s by a local crew in order to sail the route of Leif Erickson from Iceland to L'anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. The ship, called the Islendingur, made this journey in the year 2000 and also continued into the US, stopping at many major ports. As we didn't have enough time here due to our Blue Lagoon entrance time, we opted to return later in the day. The Blue Lagoon was beautiful and although the pools are man made, the thermal water comes from the area. We spent about 2 hours in the pools where the warm water meeting the icy cold air formed a mist over the pools making them quite beautiful and seemingly private. We returned to the museum and looked around some more before going back to the hotel to get ready for dinner with a friend who has recently moved to Iceland for work.

Micah and I decided to walk downtown to meet Dave at a funky market with bars and food kiosks. Dave used to work with Tristan and Micah at Club Penguin and Disney and was in Tristan's band. Most recently he worked for Tristan at Hyper Hippo but decided to take a job with a gaming company in Reyjavik. We had a great meal and visit with Dave and the guys arranged to meet up the next day after I was dropped off at the airport as Micah would be staying at Dave's for an extra night. The following day we leisurely packed and shopped in the quaint downtown before returning the rental vehicle at the airport. Micah took a bus back into town while I waited to board my second last flight. Micah and I had a great time in Iceland and he hopes to return with his wife Kris next October. I hope they can do it!

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Posted by kelshell 14:59 Archived in Iceland

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What an adventure, Shelley. We're all looking forward to seeing you amongst the Sundrops once again. Happy Holidays! Love Alexis

by Alexis van Nieuwkerk

And I can't wait to see all of you! Thanks for following along and Happy Holidays to you Alexis. See you in a couple of weeks....

by kelshell

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